New Zealand 46-14 Ireland: Seven-try All Blacks hammer Irish to set up mouthwatering England semi-final – The Sun

NEW ZEALAND showed Ireland what it really means to be world No1 as they humiliated Joe Schmidt's side in Tokyo.

England — their semi-final opponents — beware.

Ireland were suffocated and strangled by the defending world champs and put in one of the most impressive performances in Rugby World Cup history.

Aaron Smith got the All Blacks under way with two first-half tries and Beauden Barrett, Codie Taylor, Matt Todd, George Bridge and Jordie Barrett added to the tally with seven tries in total.

It was a humiliating end to the career of captain Rory Best and outgoing Irish coach Joe Schmidt, but New Zealand were simply magnificent.

Crestfallen Schmidt might have thought he was doing a walk of shame as he headed down to the pitch on 80 minutes, but every Ireland fan along the way lifted him every step of the way.

They gave him pats on the back and shakes of the hand — because despite this evisceration, Irish rugby is in a better state now than when he arrived in 2013.

Eddie Jones and England were proud of the job they did on Australia earlier in the day.

Surely the will not turn up for the semi-final as lacklustre and uncompetitive as the men in green, who were chasing shadows seconds after Fields of Athenry belted out during the Haka.

Johnny Sexton and Conor Murray, the dominant axis of the Ireland team during Schmidt's era, were ineffective, slow and error-prone during the match.

Murray got into an arguing match with referee Nigel Owens, Sexton misplaced quick passes and failed to find touch with kicks.

For the All Blacks, all 15 stars were at the peak of their powers with Sam Cane and Brodie Retallick among the forwards and Beauden Barrett, George Bridge and Richie Mo'unga catching the eye in the backs.

Not to mention two-try Smith, who found gaps through the eye of the needle for his two scores.


Their offloads were telepathic, their passing accurate and their relentless defensive discipline outstanding.

If England are put to the sword in the same manner, they can only stand back and applaud one of the greatest sporting sides we may ever see.

But the Red Rose surely won't let that happen, will they?


  • See you there!

  • Tomorrow morning is Wales vs France at 8.15am.

    And then Japan vs South Africa.

    Join us right here on SunSport for those two games.

  • We leave you now with that.

    It's a World Cup semi-final you simply HAVE to watch: New Zealand vs England.

  • BRIAN O'DRISCOLL says on ITV: “It's an incredibly emotional time regardless of what's happened.

    “Nobody gets to write their exit.

    “Very few people are lucky enough to walk away on a winning team or having won silverware.

    “Dan Carter and Richie McCaw in 2015.

    “The fairytale ending is rare, but what an incredible servant he has been over the last 10 years.

    “I can only imagine what sort of shape his body is in.

    “Playing in the front row for 124 caps is no easy task, he deserves this retirement, it's just a shame it has to be under these circumstances.”

  • He adds, needing a pause for composure: “I've loved every minute of it.”

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